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Publishers are Providing Lower Cost Options with Digital Formats and Learning Solutions

The campus bookstores, commercial publishers, and online booksellers provide a range of format and licensing options for textbooks.

  1. Digital Textbook Rental Programs: Digital books are licensed for a period of time at significantly reduced cost compared to new textbook. For example, CourseSmart is a joint venture of 5 major textbook publishers that provide the rental/licensing about 20,000 digital e-textbooks from the major publishers.
  2. Low-cost print textbook with Free digital version on website by Flatworld Knowledge provides students with free access to an online digital textbook and if students want to print it or have the digital information delivered on other devices (e.g. iPhone, iPad, etc), they can purchase the products and services at a relatively low cost.
  3. eBooks licensed by Oklahoma libraries are growing in their availability to both faculty and students.
  4. E-Chapters: Cengage Publisher provides ability to buy typical book chapters at $4-$10 per chapter.
  5. Print Textbook Rental Programs: Use of physical textbooks is licensed for a semester at 35% to 45% of the cost for a limited collection of new textbooks.
  6. Used Print Books: Campus bookstores and online textbook resellers provide used textbooks at approximately 50% of the cost for a limited collection of new textbooks that are to be used the following semester. According to the 2009 College Store Industry Financial Report, used books account for about 30% of all course materials in U.S. college stores.

Your campus bookstore is a key partner in using the lower cost commercial options for courses materials. Please work with them to explore what options would be most appropriate for your courses.

You can also directly explore the options that the major commercial publishers are providing. Here's a preliminary list of links that we will add to over time:

Links to Information about Lower Cost Commerical Publisher Options

Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishing:

Cengage Learning (formerly Thomson Learning):


  1. McGraw-Hill's Developmental Ed Services:
  2. McGraw-Hill's Integrated Learning Experience:
  3. McGraw-Hill's Custom Publishing:

Contacting McGraw-Hill: 'Find My Rep' allows you to type in the name of your institution in order to locate and contact the sales rep who covers your discipline.



New Digital Biology Textbook to Cost Students Just $49

As part of a three-year partnership with Nature Publishing Group (NPG), publisher of the world’s leading scientific journal Nature, faculty guided and advised the development of NPG’s Principles of Biology – the first in a series of interactive "born digital" textbooks. The text will be incorporated into courses for students at the Los Angeles, Northridge and Chico campuses starting in the 2011/2012 academic year.

Learn more about the Principles of Biology digital textbook.

Finding Low Cost Used and New Textbooks Online

There are a variety of online resellers of used books and discounts for buying new books online. Here are some websites that could save students some money. When selecting textbooks, faculty can also review the availability of their selections through these online sellers and resellers.

Used and New Book Resellers (Alphabetical Order)